Cover photo for Beatrice "Toni" Antoinette Swartz's Obituary
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1936 Beatrice 2021

Beatrice "Toni" Antoinette Swartz

November 19, 1936 — January 24, 2021

Beatrice A. Swartz
Little Falls, New york

Mrs. Beatrice A. "Toni" Swartz, 84, of West Main St., Little Falls, passed away on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at Foltsbrook Nursing and Rehab Center, Herkimer.

She was born on November 19, 1936 in Brooklyn, NY, daughter of the late Glendon and Amy (Davison) Wilbur. She was educated in New York schools. In 1956, Toni was united in marriage with James P. Swartz on Long Island; a loving and blessed union of 63 years, until his passing on February 20, 2019. In August of 1958, Jim and Toni sold their home on Long Island and left their familiar and comfortable life to work as unpaid lay volunteers at Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Toni taught girls physical education, grade 7-12, coached cheerleading and volleyball and was secretary to the Sister Superior. After nine years of working with the lakoda children there, they were recruited by a Jesuit priest to volunteer with eskimo schoolchildren on a rugged Alaskan Island. While Jim became school principal in Toksook Bay, Toni helped Yupik-speaking teachers prepare CCD classes from English scripture, cooked for visiting religious in the village and helped the village people as needed.

After 13 years in the missions, Toni and Jim re-settled in Stratford. Toni, a convert to Catholicism and influenced by the Catholic charismatic renewal, was a member and leader of an intercessory prayer group at St. Joseph’s Church, Dolgeville for more than twenty years. It was common for her to rise at 4am to pray and praise God until sunrise, and then begin her workday.

Never materialistic, she enjoyed nature, physical exercise and healthful food. Both she and Jim lived simply, so that their “talent and treasure” could make a difference for others, and it certainly did. She gave credit for her remarkable life to God. Her prayer motto being: “Lord-Your will, Your ways, always”.

Toni was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her sisters, Carole Capen (Jim), Wendy Heavner (Tony), Judy Stanley, Diane Stedman and her brother, Marc Wilbur along with many nieces,nephews and friends. She has also received great love, support and assistance by her late husband’s family and she would say to all: “Thank them for me”.

Beatrice and her family's care has been placed in the trust of Mohawk Valley Funerals and Cremations, 7507 State Route 5 (corner of Bidleman Road), Little Falls, 315-508-5131. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to her Mass of Christian Burial from St. Joseph's Church, Dolgeville, commencing at 11 am on Saturday, January 30, 2021. The Rev. Brian Slezak, pastor, will officiate. There are no calling hours. Spring burial service will take place at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, Dolgeville where she will be laid to rest with her husband.

Kindly send memorial offerings in her name to St. Joseph’s Church, Dolgeville. Toni’s family and friends are extremely grateful to the nurses and staff at Foltsbrook Center for their diligence, care and compassion.
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